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A Trip to the Thumb


We like to place a lot of focus on Eat/Shop/Play at Urbane. Apartment living is fun, but it is helpful to get out and about. Michigan has a lot to offer for those interested in outdoors, hiking, biking, camping and so on. One way to see things is to use It’s a great app for joining people of like mind and intent together. I recently signed up for a photo walk adventure in search of Old School Houses, Barns and beautiful countryside in the Thumb Area of Michigan, a short (90) minute drive from Royal Oak. I have had a few cameras over the years, but am mostly just a Point and Shoot guy. Getting away form the city bustle for a few hours Saturday morning was great fun. As you hear North on M53 (Van Dyke) past Hall Road in Utica, you find yourself is lush farmland. There are old farm silos, green green grass and a total county feel. There were a half dozen of us led by photographer and instructor Tom Nighswander from Ann Arbor, a super cool, laid back guy. We had a hoot. Tom has over 2 decades of experience, with a passion for the craft of photography, evident through his casual yet enthusiastic teaching style. Tom’s workshop emphasis is placed on creative visualization, capturing the image and applying your own artistic vision. Needless to say, I was out of my element with these guys with my Point and Shoot, however they made me feel very comfortable, and I learned a few things. For the first time ever, I shot some images without being in Auto Mode!

PhotoShoot2We wandered around several locations shooting images until we reached the furtherest point North in the Thumb, Port Austin, located at the tip of the Thumb of Michigan. Port Austin is home to beautiful rock formation along its shoreline, which also has sandy beaches. Nearby is Port Crescent State Park, which has one of Michigan’s finest sand beaches. We stopped for lunch in the downtown area at The Lighthouse Inn, a family diner featuring homemade soups, breads and desserts. Breakfast served all day. We left full and satisfied before heading over to see the LightHouse!

PhotoShoot4 We found some old cars and more barns along the dirt roads. There is a campground right on the waters edge at the lighthouse, with plenty of fishing and water fun. We ended our trip by hitting a few more spots as we wound South along the edge of Lake Huron.



This post has been brought to you by the fine folks at Urbane Apartments, with (20) apartment communities in Royal Oak, Berkley, Ferndale, Clawson, Farmington, Birmingham, Dearborn and Milford.


EBEric’s background is rooted in the rental and real estate industries. He founded metro Detroit’s Urbane Apartments in 2002, after serving as senior vice president for a major Midwest apartment developer. He established a proven track record of effectively repositioning existing rental properties in a way that added value for investors while enhancing the resident experience. He also established Urbane Media, a social media marketing and PR laboratory, where innovative marketing ideas are tested. Eric has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine and Business Week Magazine, the New York Times and Harvard Business Review . You can connect with Eric at  UrbaneLife on Twitter. Eric also writes regular articles for the following publications:

RDA Press, (Rich Dad Advisors) are publishing Eric’s first book,Apartments to Hot Sauce; RED HOT RECIPES FOR YOUR BUSINESS START-UP, to be on the bookstore shelves in MARCH-2018!




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